Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2011 Draft Prep: Thomas will be top rookie rusher

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Mark Ingram is the best rookie running back coming into the season, and it's not close. He's the Fantasy running back to target from the 2011 draft class.

But Ingram might not finish the season as the best rookie running back. The prediction here is Daniel Thomas will be the best rookie rusher this year.

I know, call me crazy. Ingram has done nothing but solidify his standing with a solid preseason, while Thomas has looked lost. He's now No. 2 on the depth chart in Miami behind Reggie Bush, who was cast off in New Orleans to make room for Ingram.

But if you look at the scenarios that should happen, Thomas has the chance to be better than Ingram this year, and he's becoming a tremendous value pick on Draft Day. With Thomas, you just have to be patient.

That's something Dolphins coach Tony Sparano is learning about Thomas, who was drafted in the second round out of Kansas State. Thomas has struggled during the preseason and has failed to run with confidence. But Sparano said he's seen a difference with Thomas as the regular season gets closer.

"I think whenever he gets the ball a bunch he starts to get into a bit more lather," Sparano said. "He's been good the last couple of weeks. It was just in the beginning where it was overwhelming a little bit."

Thomas told me after the second preseason game against Carolina that the lockout hurt his development. But he said things are "starting to slow down a lot," and he's learning the offense and how to play his game. He was a star in college in racking up 2,850 total yards and 30 touchdowns the past two years with the Wildcats, and he said he gets better as his workload increases.

"I think it will be the same way here," Thomas said of his ability to produce. "It's just a good fit for me."

While Bush might open the season as the starter, it's unlikely he will have or maintain a featured role. He's not durable enough and he has just one 16-game season in his career – as a rookie in 2006. The most carries he had in a season was 157 in 2007.

Since then, Bush saw his carries decline to a career-low 36 last season. He will definitely improve on that since he was limited to just eight games in 2010, but Thomas will eventually emerge as the featured running back for the Dolphins. Even Sparano indicated a concern for Bush's workload.

"I really don't have a great grasp of what that number is yet with Reggie," Sparano said when asked about Bush's carries. "I kind of have to watch it, you know, particularly early when you really want to ride him early and get him going, and that's probably where I've got to watch him the most."

As for Ingram, it's difficult to predict a letdown, but there's a strong possibility he continues to share carries evenly with Pierre Thomas throughout the year. And when you factor in Darren Sproles, that's a three-headed backfield, meaning Ingram will unlikely be a featured running back as a rookie.

Follow us, Like us, Join us
Want more? Join the discussion on our Facebook page and Google+ and follow us on Twitter for additional insight while interacting with a community geared toward Fantasy Football.

He should work at the goal line – he has three touchdowns in the preseason – but he's only averaging 2.9 yards per carry. And there's this lingering knee swelling, which hopefully will go away.

Look, I'm not saying Ingram is going to be bad by any stretch. I have drafted him in as many leagues as possible because he will be an exceptional Fantasy option this year. I just wouldn't be surprised if Thomas is better by the end of the season, and I target him on Draft Day as well.

In looking at their Average Draft Position, you have to take Ingram first. Name recognition alone gets him drafted early since he won the Heisman Trophy and a national title at Alabama. He is being selected as the No. 25 running back at No. 55 overall in Round 5.

Thomas is being drafted as the No. 29 running back at No. 75 overall in Round 7. And, by comparison, Bush is being taken as the No. 32 running back at No. 92 overall in Round 8.

Something you might want to consider on Draft Day is taking Ingram as your No. 2 running back in Round 4 or 5 and then taking a chance on Thomas two or three rounds later as your No. 3 or 4 option. They could end up being great Fantasy running backs for your team.

This rookie running back class has fallen apart due to injuries to Mikel Leshoure (Achilles' tendon) and Ryan Williams (knee), and we might not see DeMarco Murray, Roy Helu, Stevan Ridley, Delone Carter or any of the other members of this rookie class have starring roles. But Ingram and Thomas should play at a high level.

And if things go the right way for Thomas, he could end up at the head of the class. He has the potential to pass Ingram for the No. 1 rookie spot this season.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Eli Manning declares his ankle is 100 percent
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/21/2014) Giants quarterback Eli Manning underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery April 10 but says his ankle already feels 100 percent, reports Newsday. "I feel good, I feel strong, I feel ready to go full speed," Manning said.

The Giants will hold their first practice Tuesday.


Norv Turner: Teddy Bridgewater should have gone Top 10
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/21/2014) Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner sounded impressed with rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater after Monday's workout, saying Bridgewater "should have gone in the first 10 picks." Minnesota selected Bridgewater with the 32nd and final pick of the first round.

He'll try to beat out Matt Cassel for the starting job.


Aaron Dobson heads list of unavailable Patriots
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/21/2014) Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson will start training camp on the PUP list as he continues to rehab from March foot surgery. Also on the list are defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (knee), cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder), special teams standout Matthew Slater and receiver Jeremy Gallon.

In addition, first-round defensive lineman Dominique Easley will start camp on the Non-Football Injury list as he recovers from the torn ACL he suffered at Florida last season. Joining him on that list are running back Roy Finch, linebacker Deontae Skinner and offensive tackle Chris Martin.


Travis Kelce moving well without knee brace
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/21/2014) Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who missed virtually his entire rookie season with a knee injury, went through a full practice Monday for the first time in nearly a year, reports ESPN.com. Kelce "moved around well and did so without a brace or any other kind of protection on the knee," the report said.

"From here, it’s just a matter of getting back into football shape and getting ready to play a 16-game season," Kelce said.

The 6-5, 260-pounder "figures large" in the Chiefs' plans for getting more production out of the tight end position, the website said.


Texans waive Brennan Williams
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/21/2014) The Texans waived offensive tackle Brennan Williams with a failed physical designation. A 2013 third-round pick, Williams missed his entire rookie season recovering from microfracture surgery.

Patriots make roster moves
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/21/2014) The Patriots signed former Giants defensive lineman Eathyn Manumaleuna and released defensive lineman Seali'i Epenesa. Epenesa, 22, was signed as a rookie free agent out of UCLA last month.

Jon Beason starts camp on PUP list
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/21/2014) As expected, Giants middle linebacker Jon Beason will start training camp on the PUP list. Beason is rehabbing a foot injury but believes he'll be ready for Week 1. At worst, the Giants hope to have Beason back during the season's first three weeks.

Three Giants to be limited during camp
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/21/2014) Giants left tackle Will Beatty (leg), guard John Jerry (knee) and receiver Mario Manningham (knee) all will be limited during training camp, reports ESPN. The Giants' first practice is Tuesday.

Dezmon Briscoe signs with Dallas
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/21/2014) The agent for receiver Dezmon Briscoe tweeted that his client signed with the Cowboys on Monday. Briscoe is expected to serve as quality depth behind the Cowboys' other tall, physical receivers in training camp. 

Geno Atkins, Leon Hall highlight sidelined Bengals
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/21/2014) As the Bengals prepare to open training camp this week, they placed nine players on the Physically Unable to Perform list and another three on the Non-Football Injury list. All 12 players can come off both lists at any time. 

Defensive tackle Geno Atkins (knee), cornerback Leon Hall (Achilles), guard Clint Boling (knee), linebacker Marquis Flowers (hamstring), punter Kevin Huber (neck), receiver Colin Lockett (hamstring), defensive tackle Zach Minter (back), defensive tackle Devon Still (back) and receiver Ryan Whalen (hamstring) all were placed on PUP. 

In addition to receiver Marvin Jones (ankle), who might not be seriously hurt, the Bengals placed cornerback Onterio McCalebb (ankle) and quarterback AJ McCarron (shoulder) on their NFI list. 


 
 
 
Rankings